8.20.2014

Settling in with Hazel... and a little about her name

Hazel is 9 days old already and settling in so well.  She is such a sweet baby and seems to have an easy going temperament.  She loves to be held during the day, mostly by me.  When I'm holding her, she's happy as a clam.  When Dan or the kids hold her, she usually starts to get fussy and sometimes just plain mad.  She's not content out-of-arms for long.  But considering that while I was pregnant I was 'holding' her 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, even holding her 12 hours a day is 50% less than she was used to.  I am loving my Boba wrap even more than my Moby.  It makes carrying her so easy.  The truth is, I'm pretty much addicted to my newborns!  I love having her snuggled up next to me.

newborn hazel

So far, she's sleeping well.  She doesn't have her days and night confused, which feels like a miracle. That's a first for us.  (I feel like I'm tempting fate by even putting that out there!).

newborn hazel

The kids are adjusting so well.  We were most concerned about Iris.  Iris had been the 'baby' for almost 3 years.  I wondered how she would do, but so far, she's been sweet and loving toward the baby.  It's been such a relief and a joy to see all of the kids interacting so beautifully with their new baby sister.

newborn hazel 

After we had Iris, we weren't sure if she would be our last.  We wanted to wait to make any decisions and see how life unfolded.  I lived as though she would be.  I was in such a sentimental place after I had her and that made everything so intense.

newborn details 

By the time Iris turned 2, Dan and I thought we wanted to have another baby, but we also thought we wanted to wait awhile to decide.  I said a prayer, releasing it and asking that if we were meant to have another child, that Dan would have a strong feeling about it when the time was right.

newborn hazel 

The very next day, Dan said he felt there was another soul meant to be raised in our family and that if we got pregnant then, in the fall, he would have time off over the holidays to help me more during my first trimester.  (As it turned out, I did have very bad morning sickness and his help meant the world to me.)

newborn hazel 

It was all rather spontaneous and yet so right.  And so we named her Hazel, which comes from the Hebrew word Haza'el: God sees.

newborn hazel 

Hazel's middle name, Theodora, is a Greek word that means 'gift of God'.

newborn hazel 

It wasn't until we adopted Tia that I was able to slow down and really appreciate the beauty of the day-to-day with my kids.  Don't get me wrong - I enjoyed Jude and Indigo so much.  Yet I was more inclined to think ahead to the next thing rather than fully appreciating the moments right in front of me. While I was pregnant, I looked ahead to their births.  When they were newborns, I looked ahead to their first smiles.  When they were smiling, I looked ahead to hearing their laughter for the first time, and on it went.

newborn details 

But by the time Tia came into our family, I had finally learned not to rush it.  The time by goes quickly enough already.  I started to enjoy the moments for what they are - gifts.  Beautiful, amazing gifts.

newborn hazel

And so is she.  Hazel Theodora, our precious gift.

19 comments:

  1. Oh Rachel - your posts are such visual treats, and your writing always hits home with me. Stunning, GORGEOUS photos of Hazel. Just priceless. Some day I'd love to talk lenses with you because you get such crisp photos!
    Love it that you shared the meaning behind Hazel's names. Coincidentally, we chose "Jane" as my youngest's middle name because it also means "gift of God" (which she was for a multitude of reasons). Names are powerful, and more so when they speak to experiences in your life. Thank you for sharing these early pics of precious Hazel:)

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    1. Lucinda, it's funny you should mention lenses because I actually rented a macro lens to take the details shots. The newborn photographer I had wanted was booked, so I decided to take my own newborn photos. I don't own a macro lens and the one I read great things about was $600. So I googled lens rentals and the rental cost was only $20/day. It was the Canon 100 macro f/2.8. Such a good deal considering I otherwise have no interest in macro photography and it was much cheaper than hiring a photographer. The other photos were shot with my Canon 50mm f/1.4. I think getting crisp photos is less about the lens (though apparently some are much sharper than others) and more about nailing focus, choosing the right aperture for depth of field, and using the correct shutter speed. It's hard. What you don't see is that I probably took close to 400 photos to get these 10 that I really liked. I just don't blog the rejects. :)

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  2. She's beautiful, and I'm tearful looking at the pictures and reading your words. It's so true. I looked forward to each new thing more with the first two and learned to savor the moments with the third. I'm trying my best to soak in the fleeting moments with Hawthorne.
    Oh keep that little baby close and enjoy those newborn snuggles. They're delicious.

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  3. What a wonderful posts. It brought tears to my eyes - happy tears, but still...
    I love your pics and I'm so happy that you and your family enjoy Hazel so much.
    I also know what you mean with savoring the moment more with the later children. With our daughter I always thought about the future, but with our son I'm now also much more able to enjoy just the now. The later will come rather sooner than later...

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    1. Thank you so much, Annika! I think with the first baby, the anticipation is really amazing! It's all so exciting and that makes it really special. I found with my subsequent pregnancies, things were much more mellow and content and I was more 'in the moment'. :)

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  4. My God, she's such a perfect pretty baby… Precious! She chose the perfect family to be born in as well. Enjoy! And congratulations again!

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  5. She is absolute exquisite ! You and Dan make beautiful children! She's perfect! So pleased to hear all is going well. I still need to email you those recipes.... Love her name too - so sweet yet so full of meaning.

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  6. She is just sooooo beautiful! And these photos are truly excellent. I can't believe the detail you've captured, but it's also so very pretty and soft somehow! My photos always show all the details, but also all the flaws (I actually rather like this, I think if I had an aesthetic, it would be that kind of realism, although mostly it's unintentional), but these are just perfectly lovely and frameable.

    So glad you're enjoying the newborn time! I enjoyed it so much more with Maggie than I did with Joe so I can only imagine how I would feel if I had additional kids. I always struggle with a lot of anxiety, etc., in the early days, though. And on top of everything else, I'm berating myself for not enjoying the moment more! HA! The silly things we put ourselves through.

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  7. She is just so beautiful! And what a lovely post. It's just so touching, brought a little tear to my eye. I love the back story to her name, truth be told, I love all names that have a back story ;) but her name truely seems to fit her perfectly. Congratulations to you again! :)

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    1. Thank you, Jane. I love names with a back story too! :)

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  8. oh sigh, she's just divine!! what a beautiful little baby you made over there. the photos are amazing and i love the story of her name, too. aw rachel, you're a lucky lady.

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  9. Perfection in a wee bundle : ) Enjoy. She is beautiful

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  10. What a doll baby!! She is absolutely beautiful....your photography was stellar....and your story is, well, perfect!!

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  11. she is just so precious!! so glad you're all settling in. i can't wait for more photos of this little bundle!

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  12. Rachel, this post is all so lovely. I adore new babies and the amazing magic of the arrival of a whole new person and the start of the long journey together. It's such a special time. And I love her name! Hazel was the name I always wanted as a little girl. I thought it sounded strong, but also natural, reminding me of the Hazel of the English hedgerows. I hope you're all finding time to be together and get to know Hazel and look after each other.

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  13. Such a gift of a post. You did a great job on the photos. So totally didn't need a baby photographer =) I'm going to share these photos with my husband as examples of what I'd like him to do when the time comes. Thanks for sharing about the Boba, too. I hadn't heard of that, but after reading the reviews on Amazon, it sounds like I'd prefer it to the Moby (which I've also never tried!)

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  14. Beautiful Rachel. You are such an honest and beautiful writer!!

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  15. Congratulations to you, she is beautiful.

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